by Chioma Okereke

forget my name after the fact
create my dialogue-
   if you can't recall what was said
can't tell my a** from my head?
then paint my portrait
   you design my face
one more suited to your tastes
make me taller - I don't mind
give me one of those walks
that speaks to men from behind
announcing the better view from the front
make me thinner, curvier or blond
that's really not the point
          tell then what you want
just don't tell me it didn't happen…
make me a no good scheming b*tch
     you were the only one-
           who could scratch my itch
call me a bar-hopping /gold-digging whore
you don't know what came over you-
           you've never done that before
but        tell            them
don't make me feel like I've imagined this
make me worthless
but don't make me     non-existent
  you only get three chances
  and two are already spent
denial is so finite
       but reality bends-
i'm asking you to make me real
  don't allude it was all in my head
cast aspersions on my character if you will
  but don't pretend you weren't in my bed
  don't negate what you and I meant
even if it wasn't heartfelt
     it was     felt
     and it meant         enough
for you to want to forsake me
      you said you didn't want to wake me
         in your Dear John note
       'i'll see you soon, love you'
      was all you wrote
how can you renounce us
and explain away the letter?
     it's better this way
do you really believe that?
  can you honestly wite-out me
dismiss me in a purple haze
convince yourself I didn't exist
  simply forget all those days?
           erase me the way
Monet re-used his canvasses
paint another in my place
so my presence can't be traced
        leaving me-
the only witness
bound by the silence of shame
  for in order to reclaim the truth
  i must admit I was unwanted
     some bastard secret
children tell as they coax each other
into haunted houses
   how's this -
why not just tell people
     you made a mistake
     you misread your emotions
+ just didn't want to fake them anymore
tell them something
but don't ignore me
   b/c I was there through it all
        don't shun me in public
        don't not return my calls
forget my name after the fact
  if that allows you to move on
just don't tell me I imagined this
       when all is said
     and done

Cockcrow by Chioma Okereke

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